Riding Moose, Thrashers finally slay the orange and black dragon

On November 18, 2005, Johan Hedberg was sitting on the Dallas Stars bench as his counterpart Marty Turco was in the process of helping their team beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-3. Half a continent away, the Atlanta Thrashers were in the midst of a stunning come-from-behind win against the Philadelphia Flyers in which they scored twice in the final 1:50 to tie the score at 5-5…Peter Bondra and Patrik Stefan doing the honors. Greg DeVries then won the game in overtime for Atlanta.

Four years and ten days later, Hedberg helped the Thrashers end their 14-game losing streak to the Flyers by hanging a big, fat hairy ZERO on the scoreboard…Atlanta winning 1-0. A goose egg, as it were…or in this case, a “Moose egg”.

Yes folks…you see that correctly. The Thrashers have indeed beaten the Philadelphia Flyers! The mountain has been climbed! The orange and black dragon has been slain! Ding-dong…the witch is dead!

Moose drew a crowd all night long but he stopped all 34 shots he faced to beat the Flyers (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

Moose drew a crowd all night long but he stopped all 34 shots he faced to beat the Flyers (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

The Moose was certainly loose in this game as he stopped all 34 shots the Flyers were able to get away on him…compared to the scant 18 the Thrashers were able to get on Brian Boucher. Going into the game, Hedberg had a career record of just 1-7-1 with a 3.64 GAA and .871 SV% against the Flyers.

Rich Peverley’s power play strike from the left side halfway though the second period proved to be all the offense needed on this winning night. It was Peverley’s league-leading fifth game-winning goal of the season.

Hedberg and the Thrashers had to hold on for dear life in the third period as it appeared as though Moose season officially opened in Thrasherville and everyone in a white jersey was taking aim at Hedberg. Atlanta was outshot 13-3 in the final twenty minutes.

The penalty kill unit was call upon as well to continue their fine work on the season. For the night, they killed off five Philadelphia power plays, including a three-minute man advantage early into the third after Colby Armstrong’s game misconduct penalty due to a high-high and boarding call. The two teams skated 4 on 4 after the expected scrum ensued, then the Thrashers held the Flyers off for the remainder of the 5-minute major. In all, Atlanta was without Army’s services for the final 19:48 of the game.

Philly got another chance to pull even via the power play when Christoph Schubert sat two minutes for high sticking at 14:35, but were once again denied by Hedberg and the Thrashers defense.

The shutout was the third one recorded by the Thrashers since Friday the 13th…three goose eggs in 8 games played. That’s a lot to push out for such a little bird, eh?

Atlanta is 7-1-2 in their last ten games…a stretch that began with a 3-2 shootout win against the St. Louis Blues in which they trailed 2-0 in the third. As you’ll recall, Ron Hainsey tied the score on a crazy bounce in front of the Blues’ goal…and the Thrashers have road that good fortune ever since.

With the win, the Thrashers will wake up all alone in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 29 points thanks to the Dallas Stars overtime win against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Islanders being mugged in New Jersey 6-1 and the Rangers having been pummeled by the Penguins 8-3. The Thrashers had gone into Saturday night’s action tied with both New York teams and the Bolts.

29 points is an accomplishment the Thrashers did not achieve until the thirty-seventh game of the season last year. They’ve reached that mark after only twenty-thee games this fall.

Monday night, Thrasherville will get their first look at the Florida Panthers, who are coming off a 4-1 loss to the Nashville Predators Saturday night. The inter-division rivals have played better of late, going 5-2-3 in their last ten to bring their record to 10-11-4 after starting the season 5-9-1.

News From The Farm

Chris Vivlamore reported two items of interest earlier tonight…first off, center Angelo Esposito tore the ACL in the same knee that was damaged before. He’s out for the season. Also, Boris Valabik is set to return to the Thrashers on Monday. According to C-Viv, the team will go with 23 players upon Boris’ return and no one will be sent down. That’ll mean Atlanta will have 13 forwards and 8 defenders to go with Moose and Opie in the goal.

And Finally…

Our very own RStroz along with the lovely and charming Mrs. RStroz was one of the couples taking part in Saturday night’s Family Feud game during one of the stoppages in play.

I’m sure you’re like me in thinking it might be a hoot being part in these little contests, but as Mr. And Mrs. RStroz found out…it isn’t exactly “gravy”.

33 comments Add your comment

R. Stroz

November 29th, 2009
12:08 am

FIRST, or GOLD…NO &%@# GRAVY

Brendan

November 29th, 2009
12:18 am

Russian

November 29th, 2009
12:23 am

Was a Great Game. I lost my voice. I was very suprice when I saw lot of people come to see Thrashers today. GT and UGA played a same time and we still had around 15000 fans. It was good. Crazy game.
:-)

Brendan

November 29th, 2009
12:27 am

Special teams have been great lately, Rawhide. No PK GA in a while now. The PP Unit converted again in this game. And what about Max? Finny has 24-points in 23 games. 10G, 14A. Is Finny a plus player for the year? I always forget to check out the +/- stats on him. I know Todd White is in the cellar, at -7. And Kubina is a +15. Peverley has five (5) GWGs now? Astounding. Kane has 3 GWG, I think. Nik Antropov didn’t get a point. But he’s still got 21 in 23 games. So, with a 3-point night, in his next game, he can get back to that point-a-game status.

So, what was the deal with Colby Armstrong tonight? 5 minute major and a game misconduct?

Alan R.

November 29th, 2009
1:42 am

So, what was the deal with Colby Armstrong tonight? 5 minute major and a game misconduct?

5 for fighting, 5 for charging, and 10 for game misconduct. See video here.

Alan R.

November 29th, 2009
3:33 am

I count five back-to-back sets played so far this season. Our record is 7-2-1 in those ten games, and we are 4-0-1 in the second game of those back-to-backs.

I really like this.

Hockey Biltong

November 29th, 2009
9:16 am

Yaaaaa. Nice video Alan, thanks.Take note Dish watchers,it was in HD , but all us homies saw was sd…shame on you Ditch Network…..

Tom

November 29th, 2009
9:18 am

To expand on Alan’s point, the Thrashers have legs.

They are dominating the 3rd period with at +24 goal advantage. Next closest in the league is +11.

They are dominating 2nd games of a back to back.

We got rid of the old players and are now young, energetic, and have enough depth that if a guy is a little worn out we can sit him.

The team has fixed the problems that plagued it last year and has turned the corner.

Putting On The Foil

November 29th, 2009
9:38 am

Any replays of the game today?

Viking

November 29th, 2009
10:23 am

If the standings are done by point % (taking # games played in account), Thrashers is in 5th place in conference (8th in all NHL). 63%.

The point projection is 103.32!!!

Buzzeng

November 29th, 2009
10:29 am

“Moose Egg” and “Moose Season” – another set of morning laughs thanks to RH’s blog! It sure would benefit my blood pressure if the Thrashers would start off with a two-goal lead rather than trying to come back from a 2- or 3-goal deficit. Last night was a step in that direction! Go Thrashers!

R. Stroz

November 29th, 2009
11:25 am

Alan R. – Thanks for the youtube link.

Before the period started, van Reimsdyk had cross checked Armstrong several times in the the face off circle. Rob Martell, the special needs needs ref, once again pretending to be Helen Keller, never called a penalty. As a result, Armstrong was just getting some payback on van Riemsdyk for cross checking. If Martell had done his job properly, which is a rarity, Armstrong wouldn’t have been ejected from the game.

Otey

November 29th, 2009
11:33 am

Very pleased with the victory, very pleased with the energy in the first period, but the offense for both teams seemed disjointed all night. Neither seemed able to put together an organized push into the O-zone.

Note also that the chronic and troubling shots on goal imbalance continues.

Alan R.

November 29th, 2009
12:49 pm

If Martell had done his job properly, which is a rarity, Armstrong wouldn’t have been ejected from the game.

Army shouldn’t have been ejected, regardless. 2m charging minor and 5m fighting major? Justified. I’m not sure where this becomes a charging major and a game misconduct.

Either way, injustice has been served, and Atlanta came out unscathed in the end. We snapped a record tying 14 game losing streak, and finally got that monkey off our back. Now, let’s start a win streak of our own against these guys.

World Be Free

November 29th, 2009
12:51 pm

Vegas was a great getaway, but I was on my Blackberry all 3 nights the Thrashers were playing. I must have “Thrash blood”, could never really get away and I am glad I did not.

Could not believe the comeback against Carolina. We are moving forward!

Dwayne

November 29th, 2009
12:53 pm

van reems-a dyke deserved what he got.

Alan R.

November 29th, 2009
1:06 pm

For starting crap on the opening faceoff, he definitely got what he deserved. Welcome to the big league, kid. If you’re going to dish out some childish crap, be prepared to pay for your actions.

Jimbo

November 29th, 2009
2:37 pm

Great game for Moose. He really moved the puck well other than one giveaway up the middle. Antropov covered up for him with a great poke check. What game was Martell watching? Missed some obvious calls and made a couple that had everyone scratching their heads.

KovyRules

November 29th, 2009
2:45 pm

The Pevs dispenses again! This guy is my HERO! Okay, for those who love statistical projections, here’s one for you. If the Caps were getting as much out of Ovechkin as the Thrashers are out of Peverly on a per dollar basis, Ovechkin would need to have 468 points so far this season, with 108 powerplay goals and 90 game winning goals.

Impossible? Of course, but then so is Rich Peverly and his performance, and, most refreshingly, his humility and loyalty to grant the Thrashers that inexpensive two year contract. He’s da man!

HookyBob

November 29th, 2009
5:44 pm

Great game guys. Although I continue to worry about the shots given up, it seems to me we have lost a majority of those where we outshot the opponent. Go figure.

I didn’t see any mention of Bolt’s smackdown of Riley Cote early in the first period. If I were King and could pick the 3 stars,… Bolts would have joined Moose and Peverly. What better way to set the tone for the game than to take the “Phildephia Goons” main goon and punch the snot out of him a couple minutes in?

I have to wonder about Colby’s penalty’s. But then again, the refing has been suspect through out the league this year. My ire was first raised, well raised to a boil, when Kovy drew and “instagator” penalty against the Penguins Mat Cooke, guy with a record as long as your arm for cheap crap. Those refs also know, as do all of us, that a goal scorer doesn’t instagate,…they want to be left alone to put the puck in the net.

Then came the “intent to blow” no goal calls. The current refs make me miss McGough and Koharski (uff,..da).

As far as the hits (legal, questionable, and downright dirty) go,…both the league and the refs have problems. Last week another blog (maybe NHL Fanhouse) asked “Is this the year tragedy strikes the NHL?” Folks, I like a good hit as much as the next guy,…but the way they have been coming this year someone’s career is going to end,..or worse. I don’t want to see another Bill Masterson trophy. I wish I had an answer.

Go Thrash, lets put up another W against the Panthers.

Jameson

November 29th, 2009
5:54 pm

Now, we just need to get rid of the Niittymaki but, as I believe his winning streak against the Thrashers currently sits at 14.

rightshot

November 29th, 2009
6:11 pm

Very Impressed with the who;e game. We actually came out with speed, which is a very nice change. Hope this will all continue Monday.

I personally thought Colby’s hit was clean. Bogo had bumped the guy from behind, which is why he was leaning over. If he gets a fine or suspension from the league, it’s just bull.

Was glad to see Kovy finally getting more aggressive on D. Apparently his foot is much better. He seemed to really pick it up after the hit in Carolina where he went down in pain and has kept it up.

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

World Be Free

November 29th, 2009
7:28 pm

You wonder when the Flyers are going to finally drop the gangster mentality. They think it’s still 1975.

I’ll continue to cheer against them until they drop the thug mentality.

Miami Screaming Eagle

November 29th, 2009
7:47 pm

OK Kovy, have you seen enough to know this team is for real?

What other team that will have cap room (and have more that 5 players signed for next year) is as close to being as good as the Thrashers are today?

What more can we expect to see before the deal that should have been done before the season gets done?

Sign zeee papers!

Dwayne

November 29th, 2009
8:47 pm

Lets trade Kovy for Luongo, the Sedin twins and Shane O’Brien. I think Kovy and this family will love Vancouver. Great school system, the health care system up there is second to none, and you can leave your doors unlocked at night.

Sara

November 29th, 2009
11:10 pm

Rawhide tried to flag down Jaybird at the LA game and stick me on one of those shows – I was smart enough to decline. “Just say no” ain’t just for drugs Stroz. :p

That was a fun game, though nerve-wracking. Those SOG totals are complete BS. The team had way more than 3 in the first period.

Went to the post-game after – mostly we were catching the rest of the UGA-GT game for my friend’s niece and her bf – both current UGA students. Someone called in while they were talking to Toby and asked if the Kovy contract situation was causing a distraction in the room. Toby laughed – a lot. That answers that.

Also – I have to give props to an awesome Flyers fan. We were picking up a couple tickets from will-call and discussing buying one more for my friend’s nephew who is here on leave from the Army. The Flyers fan apparently overheard (the nephew was in uniform), turned around, and handed him a ticket for the game. Always nice to see great gestures like that from anyone – but especially a Flyers fan. ;)

Glovesave29

November 30th, 2009
8:24 am

Colby cannot be suckered into PIM’s by a rookie…it’s supposed to work the other way ’round.

Lovin’ Moose’s play and digging the new “Spongebob” themed masked. As a goalie, I get into these kind of things – if anyone else is interested, go to http://www.daveart.com to see this guys work…amazing!

Spud Webb

November 30th, 2009
9:30 am

Typical Flyers, I expect nothing less. Good for Colby & Bolts and the whole team. Evander even getting in there!!! I love the fact that we’re taking some initative and aggressing! Instead of being run out of the rink!!!! Good Job Thrashers!!!

Rawhide

November 30th, 2009
9:56 am

WOW…the Thrashers aren’t the only one having to deal with a “cat fight” today. Just had to separate Trixie and Viv’s cyber-secretary Scarlett. New blog in 10-minutes will explain…

World Be Free

November 30th, 2009
11:44 am

The Flyers have been scum for decades.

The only interruption we had was when the Quebec Nordiques to take over as the “Number One Scum Team” for a few seasons.

World Be Free

November 30th, 2009
11:45 am

I guess I need to proof read

Dwayne

November 30th, 2009
11:46 am

Moose Bob Hedberg

[...] Pavelec shut out the Red Wings 2-0 in Detroit while Moose put up a 1-0 goose egg at home against the pesky Philadelphia Flyers. Moose’s win snapped a 14-game winless streak against the Flyers. [...]